It’s all come full circle for Charley Hull.

42 weeks ago the Tour began its season at the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic, where Charley Hull slept on a share of the 54-hole lead at the season opening event. 33 events later Hull again holds the 54-hole lead, this time at the season’s final event where she’ll hope to capture her first victory on the LPGA Tour at the CME Group Tour Championship.

36-hole leader Lydia Ko’s three-stroke lead was erased on moving day by Hull, who climbed from five-strokes back to start the day by carding a bogey-free, 66 to lead at 13-under par, one-stroke ahead of Brittany Lincicome and So Yeon Ryu.

Hull has been in the hunt since the start of this event, trailing first round leader Shanshan Feng after Thursday’s round. The 2015 rookie played in the final group on Friday but struggled to a two-under par, 70 that included two bogeys and a double. Hull said she tends to get a bit quick with her tempo and made sure to focus on her speed heading into Saturday.

“Just go on the range and hit some golf balls and just kind of worked on my tempo. Sometimes it gets a bit rushed,” Hull told the media. “No, just kind of keep it to the basics. Remember what my coach said. I haven't had a golf lesson in six weeks, so I looking forward to having one when I get home.”


Click here to watch Hull's post-round interview.


Last week on the Ladies European Tour, Lincicome finished in a share of second and carried that momentum into this week, posting a six-under par, 66 to sit-one back of the lead. Lincicome says the experience of playing a narrow course like the one she faced last week in India has served her well this week at Tiburón Golf Club.

“Unfortunately I didn't get to hit driver one time at all last week. I think only three times out here,” Lincicome told the media. “But just to hit it straight and learn how to hit it straight for a week. Then to come out here, the golf course seems a little bit more open. Then I was putting really well last week, which is great to have it continuing this week. Now I'm bummed that we have no more tournaments after this week. It's finally starting to click and we're in November.”

The two-time major champion has just two top-10s this season and a win this week would be her first since the 2015 ANA Inspiration.

“It's been pretty yucky, so to finish even in the top-10 this week would be a pretty fantastic way to cap off the year,” Lincicome said. “Any time I can stay near the top of the leaderboard is going to be a great finish to the year. One more day. I just need to kind of get it done and then enjoy the off-season.”

Ryu played in the final group on Saturday and started the day three-strokes back of Ko. She remained patient as her putter let her down throughout the day, posting a three-under par, 69 to sit just one-stroke back of Hull heading into Sunday.

“Yeah, I think maybe today's shot was one of the best shot condition last three days, including today. So I was able to make some lot of birdie chances,” Ryu told the media. “But putting was not great, you know. Most important fact is I'm happy with my stroke. Little missed lie or wind just blew up or something like really tiny thing, so I'm not really worry about that part. Just going to make sure I'm going to have better speed control tomorrow.”

Ryu is looking to end a winless streak of two years. She’s come close in recent weeks with back-to-back top-5 finishes in her last two starts on Tour.

World No.2 Ariya Jutanugarn caught a spark on Saturday and vaulted from eight-strokes back of the lead to within two-strokes of Hull heading into Sunday, posting one of the low rounds of the day with a bogey-free, seven-under par 65.

“I mean, just didn't putt good like last few days, and today my putting working pretty good,” Jutanugarn told the media. “I didn't feel pressure at all. I just try to do my best and have fun on the course.”

Jutanugarn entered the final event of the year at No.1 in the Race to the CME Globe point standings and with a win on Sunday would also capture the $1 million dollar bonus that comes with winning the season long race. The five-time winner in 2016 also leads the Rolex Player of the Year standings and money list.

Ko, the 36-hole leader, struggled with a left miss throughout much of her round which resulted in a third round 73 which cut her three-stroke lead to a two-stroke deficit entering the final round. The world No.1 needs to win on Sunday in order to win the Rolex Player of the Year. She is currently ranked second behind Jutanugarn.


Click here for complete scores from the third round of the CME Group Tour Championship.


Written By: Amy Rogers


Photo Credit: 2016 Getty Images